Greedy Blog

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I've been doing some back of the head thinking about the new curve. It will hit each class differently.

1Ls will benefit the most because their GPAs will be artificially higher than those graduating a year or two ahead. After 86 hours, their average GPA will be 3.3.
2Ls without summer school benefit the second most. Those of us that attended summer school have 40 hours of 2.9 average GPA, while those that didn't only have 30 hours of 2.9. After 86 hours, the average GPA of summer schoolers is 3.16 while non-summer schoolers will average just 3.11. I don't buy the argument that the curve is looser in the summer, thus evening things out. Not after 91 in PR was a B for whoever got that (not me). Compared to the 1Ls, the difference is roughly 0.2, almost a +/- difference (e.g., A vs. A-).
3Ls will be hurt the most. After 86 hours, assuming 26 hours this year, will be just 3.02. That is difference is definitely a full +/- difference.

The only time this might matter is when firms are looking at candidates from all three classes. The firm may set an arbitrary cutoff at, say, 3.4. For the 3Ls, that would be top 25%, but for the 1Ls, that would be just above average. Firms probably won't know when the new curve came into effect, and may look at the discrepancy in a false light.
Thus, the moral is that after the initial job search, there is no difference because firms are more likely to make lateral decisions based on experience and recommendations than GPA.

I think the better plan would be to flush the system by retroactively redistributing all 2L and 3L grades, or to add an artificial quantity to make the grades even out. For example, add 0.19 GPA to all 2Ls that took summer school.

On a side note, I heard today that the CivPro grades last year were completely arbitrary. There was absolutely no curve, so the professor pulled out questions at random until there was a curve. Thus, the grades are 100% arbitrary. Nice system.

Posted by Gel 3:44 PM Post a Comment

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